World VoIP NewsBanglaLion aiming for 250 000 users this yearBanglaLion aiming for 250 000 users this year

BanglaLion aiming for 250 000 users this year

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Bangladeshi WiMAX operator BanglaLion is targeting 750,000 subscribers across the country by the end of 2011 whilst aiming to cover all upazillas (rural regions) nationwide within the same timeframe, its chairman Abdul Mannan said on Friday, as quoted by the Bangladesh Financial Express.
‘Our target is to bring our subscriber base to 250,000 by the end of 2010 and during the following year, we would like to add 500,000 more to our customer base,’ Mannan said at a seminar on 'WiMAX for Digital Bangladesh’. He continued: ‘In doing so, we will reach all the divisional headquarters by coming June followed by all the district towns by December this year and hopefully by 2011, all the upazillas will be covered.’ The newspaper points out that, on the face of it, the overall plan sounds very ambitious, as the WiMAX provider has yet to cover all parts of Dhaka city and Chittagong after launching in November last year.

BanglaLion received WiMAX licences in September 2009 for a total fee of USD215 million, but company officials have revealed that it failed to reach 1,000 subscribers in the first four months of its operations. Mannan revealed short-term goals, saying: ‘Initially, we are aiming to have 5,000 subscribers by the end of [April] and another 5,000 by May, and let’s see where it goes from there.’ The chairman admitted that the level of required investment greatly exceeded its original expectations, explaining that: ‘Previously, we thought that we could cover the whole Dhaka city with 80 base stations but now we see that we will need around 700 BTS for the capital alone ... At the same time, it would need 7,000 BTS to be set up across the country to reach the whole [of] Bangladesh.’ BanglaLion’s CEO, Khaled Shams, told the Financial Express: ‘Originally, we planned to invest around USD50 million in our network rollout ... but that figure may get doubled to cross USD100 million in the long term.’

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